The public response to the increase of ayslum seekers in Ireland : was it shaped by the government's handling of the asylum issue?

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Kinane, Dunchadh
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BA (Hons) Anthropology
Dublin Business School
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Since the mid1990s there has been a dramatic rise in the number of asylum applications in Ireland. The Government failed to foresee this rise, and hence failed to legislate adequately. Their response was to disperse asylum seekers around the country in order to accommodate them. However, some residents responded angrily to the housing of asylum seekers in their areas. A survey of newspaper articles and interviews with members of anti-racism group, Residents Against Racism, has shown that this reaction is partly due to the lack of information provided by the Government regarding this issue. Therefore, it would seem that the Irish Government is, to some extent, responsible for the prejudicial attitudes which are expressed by some sections of the Irish public.